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I can't breathe!!
Jun 9, 2005
I suffered from anxiety about three years ago, and was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I had all the symptoms, and thought that I was going crazy. Somehow, after a lot of therapy sessions, I managed to overcome it without any meds.
Then all of a sudden out of the blue, I get these sensations like I can't breathe. My chest feels so tight, that I constantly feel the need to take a deep breath, but I can't.
This feeling might last for 5 minutes, might last for 3-4 days. I am not having any other symptoms, although I start to get really panicky. I know this was one of my symptoms before, and I try to tell myself that now. I have been to the doc and all my tests have come back normal.
My doc then asked me to try Effexor, which I am now on day 7 of. So far, a few side effects, and generally feeling worse. Don't have the desire to even get out of bed in the morning anymore.
I guess what I want to know is..has anyone else dealt with this constant tightness in the chest, and can someone please tell me when I can start benefitting from taking Effexor? It terrifies me that I seem to be getting worse instead of better.
Thanks in advance,
I have generalized anxiety disorder also and YES i have had the bad shortness of breath and that not being able to breath deal. I have had the tightness in my chest and the big heavy feeling in my chest so bad it makes me wonder if im having a heart attack.I get alot of crazy things with my anxiety even fainting with seizure activity,some say it may be panic attacks though,but anyway I can go months and even years as you have with no anxiety or any attacks. I went for 5 to 6 year with almost no signs and then one day for no apparent reason WHAM! it was back and worse then ever.
I am now in one of my up times with no attacks it has been about 1 yr and a half.
sorry i got off on a rant lol but yeah if all your test are fine its not asthma or heart condition or anything else ..........then it is the anxiety that has resurfaced.

Far as medication i have taken paxil,zoloft,and klonopin in the past .
the klonopin worked almost immediatly,but it is a benzo tranquilizer and it is not really good to take it for a long period of time it is habit forming

the paxil and zoloft are anti depressant just as the effexor is ......
these can take up to 2 to 4 weeks to really get in your system and begin to work well .......what i would do is give it some more time if it doesnt seem to help within a couple more your doctor maybe the dose is too low,or you need to try a different medication.

In the meantime hang in there i know its really hard just remember everything you learned by your past therapy and apply it when you have attacks.Most importantly eventhough you may feel your dying STAY CALM you will make it much worse if you panic.Also you could be hyperventilating which can cause the sensation of not being able to breath.

I hope this post helps and believe me when your doctor finds the right medication for you it will work wonders....but remember you will always have to deal with some side effects as long as they are not major you learn to live with them. Beth

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